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How Resistance Training Improves Young Athletes' Academic Success

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How Resistance Training Improves Young Athletes' Academic Success

As a parent of a youth athlete, you may already prioritise physical fitness and sports performance for your child. However, there's exciting news form a recent systematic review and meta-analysis titled 'Effects of Resistance Training on Academic Outcomes in School-Aged Youth'. This research sheds light on a correlation between resistance training and academic achievements in young athletes. In this blog post, we'll explore the key findings of the article and how resistance training can be a valuable tool for enhancing your child's academic outcomes.

The Research: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

The study analysed existing research to determine the impact of resistance training on the academic performance of young athletes. Researchers explored various studies involving school-aged children engaged in resistance training to unveil any significant relationships between physical exercise and academic achievements.

Key Findings:

Improve Your Cognitive Function

  • Engaging in resistance training can positively influence your child's cognitive function. Regular physical exercise, including resistance training, enhances cognitive abilities such as attention, memory, and problem-solving skills. According to the lead authors, structured resistance training can lead to notable improvements in children's cognitive capacities, which can translate to better academic performance.

Enhance Concentration and Focus

  • Through resistance training, your youth athlete can demonstrate improved concentration and focus. This heightened ability to concentrate can lead to more productive study sessions and enhanced learning experiences in the classroom.

Develop Time Management Skills

  • Resistance training demands discipline and time management. By participating in regular workouts, your child can learn to balance academic responsibilities with their training schedules effectively. This skill extends beyond the sports arena and aids in organising academic commitments.

Boost Self-Esteem and Confidence

  • Resistance training can boost your child's self-esteem and self-confidence. As they witness improvements in their physical strength and abilities, they develop a sense of achievement that extends to other areas of life, including academics. This newfound confidence can positively impact their approach to learning.

Reduce Stress

  • Resistance training plays a role in reducing stress and anxiety levels among youth athletes. Lower stress levels can create a more conducive environment for learning and enhance overall academic performance.


Integrating Resistance Training and Academics

As a parent, it's essential to find ways to incorporate resistance training into your child's routine while ensuring a balanced approach to academics. Here are some practical tips to help strike the right balance:

  • Established a structured training schedule: collaborate with your child's coaches and trainers to develop a training schedule that aligns with their academic commitments. Consistency is key to reaping the academic benefits of resistance training.


  • Encourage a growth mindset: emphasising the importance of effort and improvement rather than focusing solely on outcomes. Instilling a growth mindset in your child can motivate them to persevere in both sports and academics.


  • Create a supportive environment: foster an environment that celebrates hard work and achievements, whether on the field or in the classroom. Your encouragement and positive reinforcement can boost your child's confidence.


At Inner Athlete we work with a lot of young athletes undertaking their final years of schooling. We have found that incorporating consistent strength training has not only benefited their physical development and sporting performance, but also their academic performance. Being a high achiever is not limited to one facet of life, and often successful individuals are able to take key lessons from areas they excel at and apply it elsewhere. This is why a lot of our top performing athletes are also high achievers in school as well.

The systematic review and meta-analysis on the 'Effects of Resistance Training on Academic Outcomes in School-Aged Youth' offer exciting insights into the powerful connection between physical fitness and academic success in young athletes. By incorporating resistance training into your child's routine, you can enhance their cognitive abilities, concentration and time management skills, while also fostering self-esteem and stress reduction.

As a parent, seize this opportunity to support your youth athlete holistically - nurturing their physical prowess and academic achievements alike. The findings of this research underscore the potential for greatness that lies within your child and the immerse impact you can have in unlocking their full potential through the power of resistance training.

Learn more on strength and conditioning for youth athletes and increasing your sports performance on our website and the Inner Athlete Podcast (available on Spotify and YouTube).

Matt Hucul
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Inner Athlete - Bayside's premium strength and conditioning coaching for youth athletes

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